Wednesday, July 25, 2007

sixteen months

Dear Julianna,

Today you’re 16 months old. That seems like such a small amount of time to represent the time that you’ve actually been here with us when you try to imagine how much love that has grown in those short 16 months.

Let’s see… what has happened this month? It seems like I wrote the last birthday letter to you last week. I guess what pops into my mind first is that you’ve cut so many teeth that I can’t keep up with them all. Another one came in this week. I think you have all but one on the top and all but two or three on the bottom. But man! It must be hard being a toddler, cutting teeth, and having diarrhea all the time.

We’ve been at the beach with Nanna and Papaw for the past week and you’ve done so many adorable things I’ll never be able to recount them all, but I’ll share just a few that I remember. Tonight on the way home from dinner we found out that you’d fully learned the meaning of a new word when Nanna said something like, “Now Courtney, I know you’re going to laugh at me for saying this, but…” and right on cue you laughed out loud amusing and surprising us all (and beating me to the punch). It was really cute because we weren’t totally aware that you were even listening to our conversation, much less fully comprehending it.

Another time this week you were begging for Lucy so you could go take a nap so I told you that we’d go take a nap but first you needed to tell Nanna and Pap that you loved them. When you realized that you were standing in the middle and they were on either side of you, you simply held out both hands at the same time and waved to both of them – your one finger wave to “sign” I Love You – but you did it with both hands outstretched to either side. It was hilarious and precious at the same time.

We walked over to the neighboring hotel’s pool the other morning, but didn’t have bathing suits on yet so we just dipped our feet in from the side. A nice looking family stopped by the waterfall to photograph their three daughters and you watched the big girls with wide-eyed anticipation. I told you to tell them to “Say cheese” and you would reply “cheece” quietly. I took my eyes off of you for a split second and as soon as I had noticed you were gone, you had already reappeared by my side again – with one of the big girls shoes. Which you promptly threw into the pool. I apologized to the family more than once, but still I was humiliated when the teenage girl carried off her shoes delicately as if they were covered in manure.

Anyway, while you can sometimes be a little booger, you’re also so sweet that even the bugs can’t resist you. Earlier this month you had several bug bites that kept swelling up and getting pretty red. We took you to the doctor just in case it was something we should worry about. I made Daddy go too because it was a Saturday (and because I’m afraid the nurses and doctors are starting to think I’m a neurotic, overreacting first-time mom who thinks everyday that something’s wrong with her precious little baby). There we learned that you’re now over 27 pounds, but mostly that we shouldn’t worry too much about your bites as long as we made sure to keep them clean so they didn’t get infected.
We hung up a paper growth chart for you one day a few weeks ago. Because you grow like a weed. It only makes sense to start marking it somewhere. After all, you wear mostly 2T and 3T clothes now.

You’re still working on the potty stuff, but lately you’ve been “telling” me more and more when you need to go. You’re learning new words every day. Recent words include “bubble” and “ocean” and your new signs include “cracker” and “I love you.” You’re making lots of progress this summer with swimming, blowing bubbles in the bath tub and “swimming” with your arms and kicking your feet with Pap in the pool.

Along the same lines, you’re still being instructed on manners and temper tantrums, but all of these things take time and I realize that. I also realize over and over how again how my time with you keeps going by so fast, that’s all. I feel like I close my eyes each night and the next day you’re a whole month older. Your father even pointed out to me how easy it is to not celebrate the present and take it all for granted so I’m going to work on that. So Jules, know that I love you with all my heart. And stop growing up so fast!


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